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Thunderstorms cause power outages in east Vancouver

A line of thunderstorms bore down on east Clark County communities and continued southwest over Vancouver early Saturday evening, causing a significant power outage in the city.

A short-term forecast from the National Weather Service in Portland said that trained weather spotters reported the thunderstorms around 3:30 p.m.

At that time, the line of storms was extending from Washougal to near the Hockinson area and moving southwest at 15 mph, according to the weather service.

Among the listed affected communities were Battle Ground, Washougal, Vancouver, Camas, Hazel Dell and Orchards.

“Pea-sized hail, heavy rain, gusty winds to 30 mph, and dangerous lightning can be expected in these areas until 4:15 p.m.,” the forecast said.

Heavy rain was falling in west Vancouver after 5 p.m. Infrequent, occasional roars of thunders could be heard in the distance around that time.

Reports of power outages poured into the Clark County’s 911 dispatch center shortly after the weather service forecast was posted, according to emergency radio traffic monitored at The Columbian.

Lightning reportedly struck a home on the 18800 block of 25th Street, according to the scanner traffic. Firefighters were dispatched; they reported that the residents were OK, but the strike discharged out into the street and may have affected an electrical transformer.

Clark Public Utilities outage map was updated from 400 to 22,600 affected customers within 15 minutes. The affected area, according to the utility’s map, stretches from around the neighborhood of Ellsworth Spring to Cascade Highlands.

Utility spokeswoman Erica Erland said the outages were related to a power line that affected four substations in the Fisher’s Landing and Cascades Parks areas.
Around 2,000 customers had their power stored by 5:15 p.m. as utility workers continued to work on issues and find the exact cause, Erland said.


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